The year 2012 brought many changes within the state of Oregon as the industry dealt with a new foreclosure mediation law along with court decisions that led to some uncertainty about the fate of MERS. But another trend kicked in apparently. The Oregonian has more on the uptick in Oregon short sales -- a development that is occurring as foreclosures decline:

About 6,700 bank-owned homes were sold in Oregon last year, according to real estate listings website RealtyTrac. That's 11.7 percent fewer than in 2011, and 20 percent fewer than in 2010.

Part of that decline is likely attributable to lenders pursuing foreclosures in the courts rather than through filings in county records. A court ruling and a new foreclosure mediation program, both of which took effect in July, complicated the out-of-court system that had been lenders' preferred method of foreclosure for decades.